Getting IT Service Management Right – 7 Key Building Blocks

The IT team is often the backbone of any organization and because of this, they find themselves oscillating between putting out fires and planning for the future. Every day hundreds, even thousands, of IT tickets are submitted – some as simple as needing help setting up a monitor, and some more complex dealing with issues that relate to viruses, ransomware and more.

To help manage the vast array of activities, IT leaders need to implement an IT Service Management (ITSM) platform that won’t further drain resources. As the industry has matured, 7 key elements stand out when it comes to shopping for an IT Service Management platform.

  1. Is it codeless? Some platforms are, more or less, development platforms – requiring deep technical expertise to create custom forms, automation, integration and workflow routines. As ITSM software has matured, CIOs are looking for no-code platforms that won’t drain IT resources.
  2. Does it support ITIL? ITIL is a framework or set of guidelines that many CIOs use to establish best-in-class IT Service Management organizations. It can be adopted in part or whole – many will start small and over time will adopt more and more of the framework. IT Service Management software should allow for this approach – you don’t want to be forced into a process that may not fit your organization, and at the same time, there are some standards that you may want to adopt. A flexible ITIL approach will help to support this journey.
  3. Does it have a service portal and knowledge base? This is critical; to reduce the volume of IT tickets, phone calls and emails, organizations will start to migrate end-users to an online portal. If the portal is easy to use, indexed properly and allows for quick feedback, it will be adopted faster. Over time, the knowledge base can become more and more useful – many CIOs will report a reduction of up to 70 percent of inbound tickets because they have a stellar portal.
  4. Can you conduct resource capacity planning? Many ITSM platforms are just glorified ticketing systems – you can manage tickets, assign tickets and do some basic routing. However, a more mature platform will combine IT Service Management with Project Portfolio Management. Why? Because most IT resources have some ticket work and some project work – if you have this all in a single place, you can conduct resource capacity planning and the technicians can see their day in one place.
  5. Does it give you ITSM and ESM? A true IT Service Management software solution will offer the full spectrum of functionality needed – this starts with incident/problem management and then incorporates asset management, release management, CMDB/configuration and change management, as well as the self-service portal and knowledge base. However, a solution that is built only for IT is limiting – to get the most out of your investment, it should be capable of Enterprise Service Management (ESM)– offering a solution that can be used in HR, Marketing, Facilities and more.
  6. Does it allow you to automate and integrate key processes? Using an ITSM tool that includes automation and integration capabilities can help connect different IT tools and more (like Active Directory, Workday, Salesforce, etc.), including monitoring tools, ticketing systems and collaboration tools. Furthermore, automation tools can automate many of the manual processes associated with ticket handling, such as ticket routing, SLA management and notification, freeing up IT teams to focus on complex issues that require their unique technical skills.
  7. Can you use conversational AI as part of your self-service? One of the most promising trends in IT service desk operations is the use of conversational AI to enhance the self-service portal experience. With conversational AI, users can ask questions and get instant responses. Conversational AI can help users resolve simple issues quickly, without having to contact the IT team. Furthermore, AI can learn from previous interactions and adapt to users’ preferences, making it easier to provide personalized service.

CIOs with stellar service portals report up to a 70% reduction in inbound tickets.

Getting IT Service Management Right – 3 Stories from TeamDynamix Customers

The Gratz Bank

Timely and reliable ITSM is critical for most organizations, but especially for those in the banking and financial industry. Systems need to run smoothly and securely, and any downtime or security issues can be very costly. To meet these challenges, IT staff need comprehensive visibility into technology operations, as well as sound change management processes.

The team at The Gratz Bank was initially outsourcing IT services to a third-party provider, but they weren’t getting the visibility they needed to plan effectively.

“We wanted to own these processes ourselves,” said Mark Yerger, Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

TeamDynamix was flexible enough for their needs and had a good price point, according to Yerger.

Now, The Gratz Bank is using TeamDynamix to automate and streamline workflows for delivering IT service, managing projects and change requests, and tracking technology assets. In addition, they’ve expanded the use of TeamDynamix outside of IT – utilizing the platform as a true ESM tool.

“TeamDynamix has allowed us to take ownership of IT service management and create a foundation that we can expand on as our organization grows,” Yerger said.

To read more about The Gratz Bank’s success using TeamDynamix for ESM, check out: The Gratz Bank Takes Ownership of IT Service Management with Simplified Workflows and Better Visibility into IT Operations

Covenant Healthcare

The team at Covenant Healthcare knew they needed a better way to manage tickets and projects in IT as the needs of employees, doctors, nurses and patients continued to evolve and grow. That’s why they picked TeamDynamix.

Frank Fear, CIO at Covenant, recognized a change was needed as the tech expectations within healthcare started to shift, “Our patients expect technology. They expect certain things like virtual visits, they expect to be able to message their providers and they expect to be able to schedule an appointment online and not have to call a provider to make that appointment.”

And it’s not just the patients who expect technology.

“IT kind of moved from being something that helped the back-office employees, to something that’s involved in everyone’s job all the time,” Raymond Hall, Technology Manager at Covenant Health, said. “In healthcare, they need quick, fast access – like they’re running a kiosk or at a checkout line – but the amount of data, and the sophistication of the data, they need is the equivalent of someone sitting down to do a research paper. They’re asking to see a patient’s chart and an x-ray and all of this information, and they want to be able to get to that workstation and see it like that.”

For Fear, he needs the same level of data and sophistication but instead of patient information, he’s looking at the inner workings of the entire IT organization and all of the projects, tickets and requests that come in and out to support the network.

“I have my own CIO dashboard and in one look I can see any negative survey that’s come in the last 24 hours, then pivot over and look at any project that has a status of red that needs my attention, then pivot over and look at what’s going live in the next 30 days, then pivot over and see what critical tickets have come in from the help desk that maybe affect our entire organization,” Fear said. “That’s the wow. I think it’s the pieces coming together in a single pane for me, as a leader, to be able to manage and support our organization.”

Another “wow” for Fear is that they don’t need a dedicated full-time employee to manage and maintain the TeamDynamix platform, “TeamDynamix, we felt, had all of the advanced functionality the other products had but didn’t require the need for a full FTE to manage and support the product,” he said.

To read more about Covenant Healthcare check out: Covenant HealthCare: ITSM & Projects Together for a ‘Single Pane of Glass’

Oklahoma City

In Oklahoma City, Business Systems Manager Dusty Borchardt credits well-defined processes and a solid ITSM for the city’s success in the modernization of the IT Service Desk.

“The feedback we’ve gotten is that everyone loves TeamDynamix,” Borchardt said. “This is the first IT Service Management platform we’ve implemented that everyone loves to use.”

With about 100 people providing IT services for more than 5,000 city employees, the IT department needs to work efficiently. TeamDynamix has allowed them to do so by streamlining the delivery of IT service through automated workflows. 

“TeamDynamix has brought simplicity to our operations,” Borchardt said.

Using tools within the platform, Oklahoma City IT staff have created a self-service portal linked to an expanding knowledge base. City employees can find answers to common problems and frequently asked questions within the knowledge base, and if they can’t resolve their own issues, they can submit a service request through the portal. Based on the nature of the problem they describe; their request is routed automatically to the appropriate IT team for a response. 

“Our goal is that use of the self-service portal will continue to grow, reducing our call volume and emails to the IT service desk,” Borchardt says.

Automated workflows also ensure that important tasks aren’t overlooked when IT staff are busy. For instance, when new city employees are hired, there are many steps in the onboarding process. With TeamDynamix, the entire workflow can be initiated with a single service request that is routed to the various departments automatically. The same is true for requesting purchases and managing IT contracts.

In addition to automation and a self-service portal, Borchardt and his team have benefited by gaining deeper insight into IT operations through reporting. Using dashboards and reports, IT leaders can identify trends and patterns that help them make more informed decisions. For example, they can see how much time a task is taking, or which service categories are getting the most requests and allocate their limited resources more effectively.

Using TeamDynamix has helped Oklahoma City’s IT support teams realize their vision for using industry best practices to improve the delivery of IT services.

“We adopted the ITIL framework more than 15 years ago and had effective processes in place for a while, but we haven’t had a decent toolset to manage them until now,” Borchardt said. “TeamDynamix works better than any system we’ve had previously.”

To read more about Oklahoma City check out: Oklahoma City Shows Their Love for ITSM Platform; Adoption High

This post was originally published in February 2021 and has been updated with new information.

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